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Aretha Franklin has died aged 76 at her home in Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer.
Here, TOM LEONARD tells the Queen of Soul's incredible story - from a broken home and a philandering priest father to global super-stardom:
Nobody - Coat - Aretha - Franklin - Gospel
Nobody wore a fur coat quite like Aretha Franklin. She loved to shrug it off dramatically mid-song - a Gospel music tradition supposed to indicate emotional abandon. In her case, the fur also helped remind her audience they were in the presence of royalty.
She was the 'Queen of Soul' and nobody dare better forget it. On occasions when people appeared to forget royal etiquette, her regal behaviour could be quelling.
Beyonce - Tina - Turner - 'the - Queen
When Beyonce introduced Tina Turner as 'the Queen' at the 2008 Grammy Awards, Franklin took it as an insult, angrily told reporters it had been a 'cheap shot for controversy'. (Given Turner was long ago crowned 'Queen of Rockn'Roll', she had every right to the title).
Now Franklin's long reign is over. The superstar - who Rolling Stone magazine judged to be the greatest singer of all time - died aged 76 on Thursday at her home in Detroit.
Franklin - Hospice - Care - Cancer - Disease
Franklin, who had been having hospice care, died from advanced pancreatic cancer - a disease she had been fighting since 2010. Although her health had been crippled by years of alcoholism, heavy smoking and obesity, she only announced last year that she was finally retiring from music.
In a statement, her family said: 'In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart.'
'We - Matriarch - Rock - Family - Love
'We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds.'
For decades, she remained an icon of black America. She sang Precious Lord at Martin...
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